Foot and Ankle Specialists

Posts for tag: Footwear

By Treasure Coast Podiatry Center
September 15, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Footwear  

HeelsWhile high heel shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite the numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.

High heel shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:

  • Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
  • Bunions. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
  • Hammertoes. A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
  • Metatarsalgia. Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
  • Ankle injuries. Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
  • Pump Bump. The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
  • Neuromas. A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.

Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.

  • Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
  • Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
  • If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
  • Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toes

High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit Treasure Coast Podiatry Center for treatment.

By Treasure Coast Podiatry Center
July 15, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Footwear  

Footwear for a health fitLooking fabulous in your favorite pair of heels does have a price. In fact, poor fitting shoes are a frequent cause of foot problems and discomfort, including calluses, corns, bunions and blisters, just to name a few.

All footwear eventually shows signs of wear and tear. Inspect the condition of your own shoes, and if they appear stretched out or worn, you probably need a new pair. Creasing of the midsole is also a good indication that your shoes have lost their cushion and support.

Maximize Fit, Minimize Discomfort: How to choose the best shoes for your feet

The following tips can help you avoid purchasing a pair of shoes that may contribute to a long list of foot problems.

  • Try on shoes late in the day, when the feet tend to be a bit larger due to natural swelling
  • Women should opt for low, stable heels
  • Try on both shoes to be sure that they fit comfortably on both feet
  • Choose breathable shoe materials, such as leather to prevent excessive sweating and blisters
  • Have your feet measured to ensure the best fit
  • Avoid pointy-toed shoes which cause bunions and hammertoes
  • Walk around the store with both shoes on to make sure the fit is comfortable
  • For athletes, choose shoes that are specific to the sport you play
  • Choose the right shoe for your foot type (e.g. if you have flat feet, select shoes with good arch support)

Still not ready to part with your favorite pair of sneakers or trendy heels? Not sure if the shoes you currently wear are right for your feet? Visit us at Treasure Coast Podiatry Center. A professional podiatrist at our Stuart office can evaluate the condition of your feet and work with you to find the best pair of shoes for your feet.